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-   -   Trip Report!!! Busch Gardens and SeaWorld (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2123329)

NashvilleTrio 03-18-2009 09:20 PM

Trip Report!!! Busch Gardens and SeaWorld
 
Hey guys! Here's the start of our BG & SW trip report. Our pictures are uploading as I'm writing this, so unfortunately I won't have any to post tonight, but we took tons of pics so stay tuned. We were at the parks from March 13-March 16.

My husband, Greg, and I share this account, but I'll be the one writing most of the report. I'm sure I'll have to get his help with filling in the details! Our son, Josh, was with us as well and we all had a great time. The weather was fabulous - in the low 80's each day and sunny. And the crowds were very low. I don't think we waited more than 20 minutes for anything.

We drove down on Thursday the 12th, leaving Nashville around 3:30pm central time. We had planned to drive to the Ocala area and sleep in the van at a rest area and that's what we did. We got to the rest area around 1:30am eastern time and actually got about 4-5 hours of sleep. We felt pretty safe doing this especially since there was supposed to be a night security guard on duty. We actually didn't see him or his vehicle until we were leaving the next morning, but maybe he was parked where we couldn't see him. Who knows???

We left the rest area around 7:00am and stopped on the way to BG at a McD's for breakfast. And what? - no gravy & biscuits? I don't usually order this at McD's, but it sounded really good at the time. But, alas, this one didn't serve it. So, I settled for a sausage biscuit and a cinnamon melt. So, while we were eating I looked down and noticed this huge spider, like the size of grandaddy long legs, but it was NOT a grandaddy longlegs. I don't know what kind it was - it was just BIG! I'm normally not freaked out by bugs, but this one was too creepy and it was heading straight for Greg's feet. I just looked down and pointed and said, "Spider, spider, spider!" and Greg jumped up and stomped on it. This really freaked our son out because he does not like any sort of bugs and he would not put his legs down out of his seat for the rest of our breakfast. I know Florida has bigger and different kind of bugs than we see in TN and they can keep them! :laughing:

So, after filling up our tummies, we stopped and filled up the gas tank, and we were on our way again. We arrived at BG around 8:45am and since we had splurged on Platinum Passes our parking fee was already paid for and we were directed to the elite preferred parking section. It's very close to the entrance - probably less than 100 yards. We were so excited and ready to ride some coasters! We gathered our park necessities in my new hip pack and we were off to the ticket kiosks!
Got our hip pack from this website just before the trip and it worked out great...
http://www.tuffbaggs.com/mm5/merchan...y_Code=WNHNFC7

And I didn't have any problems at all taking it on the rides.

Ok readers...that's all for now...
Stay tuned for more report and plenty of pics!!!

Tillikumtrainer 03-19-2009 03:14 AM

nice report so far. yes Bugs eww IF YOU SEE A PALMETTO BUG RUN!!! they look like round waterbugs .. so watch yourstep..

jopaly 03-19-2009 05:11 AM

Great report so far, we're hoping to go to BG in late May/early June, so can't wait to here more and see some of your piccies.

czycropper 03-19-2009 10:47 AM

Can't wait to hear more!!

I'm taking my DDs to BG when we go visit my Dad. So I'm looking for all and any strategies :)

NashvilleTrio 03-19-2009 09:16 PM

Ok, I'm back with another installment. Here are a couple of pictures...
Silly picture of Greg & Josh from our driveway before heading out. You can't see it very well but their hats say "Big Dude" and "Little Dude".
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9...D550/ry%3D400/

I also wanted to add that Atlanta traffic was crazy even on a Thursday evening around 8:30! And we’re pretty used to heavy traffic since we live in Nashville. We literally were only about a foot away from getting the front end of our van clipped by some crazy moron who whipped across 4 lanes of traffic to exit. Next time I think we’ll take the 285 bypass. But it was neat to see all the downtown buildings at night with all the lights and stuff.

Here's our first look at Montu as we're pulling into the parking lot.
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9...D550/ry%3D400/
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9...D550/ry%3D400/
Onto Day 1 at BG…we took our vouchers that Greg had printed out to the self service kiosks and wa-la, our platinum passes were in hand! Off to the gates where we only had to wait about 5 minutes before they opened them and were inside the park quickly. The finger scanners here seemed to work somewhat better than those at US/IOA, but they still hold up the line. My advice is to just be patient and hold your finger still.

Only the Egypt section was open at this point, so we headed over to MONTU – this is an awesome ride. It’s SO smooth and has great twists and turns. I think we rode it about 3 times before we decided to head on to another area. Josh was mad that we didn’t use our re-ride privilege that came with our passes, but since it was a walk-on, we didn’t want to look like jerks, and the extra exercise didn’t hurt. This was the case for several of the rides. Josh couldn’t understand why we wouldn’t just whip out our passes to do the re-ride, but most of the time there was very little or no wait.

Next we headed to Rhino Rally – we knew the line for this can move very slow sometimes so we wanted to beat the crowds. On the way we took a few pics...
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9...D550/ry%3D400/

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9...D550/ry%3D400/

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9...D550/ry%3D400/

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9...D550/ry%3D400/

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9...D550/ry%3D400/

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9...D550/ry%3D400/

We got on Rhino Rally almost immediately and our driver was very funny. Josh was cracking up at some of her jokes…she said that the flamingos were Pink Chickens on Stilts and the Impalas were Burnt Marshamallows on Sticks. That’s a fun ride – I don’t want to ruin it for anyone, but if you haven’t ridden this before, there’s a surprise part in the middle of the ride. PM me if you want to know about it…
We got great views of the animals too – I really like the fact that at BG you have 3 different rides where you can see the animals…Rhino Rally, the Skyride, and the Train. We got a great view of a giraffe later in our trip while riding the train. He was about 10 feet from us – I’ll post that pic later…
Here are some animal pics...
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9...D550/ry%3D400/

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9...D550/ry%3D400/

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9...D550/ry%3D400/

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9...D550/ry%3D400/

Day 1 continued in next post...

NashvilleTrio 03-19-2009 09:53 PM

Next ride was Congo River Rapids. Here is a picture of me and Josh.
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9...D550/ry%3D400/

Greg got some good water shots with our waterproof camera.
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9...D550/ry%3D400/
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9...D550/ry%3D400/
That water was COLD!!!

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9...D550/ry%3D400/
And, yes, Josh and I got the full blast of the waterfall!!
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9...D550/ry%3D400/

Well, since we were pretty soaked we decided to go ahead and ride the Tanganyika Tidal Wave. It was a fun ride.

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9...D550/ry%3D400/

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9...D550/ry%3D400/

We wanted to ride the Stanley Falls Flume ride next but it was closed for the day. They were running the flume logs but not letting anyone ride. So, we decided to hop on the skyride for a leisurely ride back to the other side of the park.

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9...D550/ry%3D400/

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9...D550/ry%3D400/

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9...D550/ry%3D400/

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9...D550/ry%3D400/

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9...D550/ry%3D400/

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9...D550/ry%3D400/

We had lunch at the Crown Colony House Restaurant which is on the second level of the building and is a sit down table service restaurant. We sat out on the balcony and had a great view of some of the animals. I think the cost for our lunch was about $50 which actually wasn't bad considering we paid about $35 for our other counter service meals. And the food here was great. Sorry no pics...


We stopped next at this partail underwater viewing area which was pretty neat. Here are some pics...
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9...D550/ry%3D400/

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9...D550/ry%3D400/

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9...D550/ry%3D400/

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9...D550/ry%3D400/

HIPPO! At first we weren't sure if this was a real one, but it was. It was so still though. The only way we knew it was real was because we could see air bubbles coming out of it's nostrils!
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9...D550/ry%3D400/

Next we stopped to see the lions and it happened to be Simon's 3rd birthday. Notice the Happy Birthday streamers and gift wrap. Josh got to sign a big birthday card as well.
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9...D550/ry%3D400/

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9...D550/ry%3D400/

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9...D550/ry%3D400/


We were getting pretty tired at this point especially since we only had a few hours of sleep in our van the night before, so we decided to head back to the hotel. A few more pictures on the way out...
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9...D550/ry%3D400/

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9...D550/ry%3D400/

We were staying at the Holiday Inn Express just a few blocks down from the park on East Busch Blvd. Our stay there was pretty good. They offer a free hot breakfast but they really need to figure out how to efficiently serve the throngs of people that were taking advantage of it. It really was a chaotic mess each morning that we went down. Even the second morning when we went down at around 7am it was crazy and they were out of almost everything except cereal and cold pastries. Anyway, I guess I shouldn't complain about "free" food, but it was definitely not an enjoyable relaxing breakfast.

Ok, that's all for tonight...Stay tuned for day 2 at BG, Day 3 at Seaworld, and the final day back at BG...

Until then...Good night all!

-Melissa

donaldsgal 03-19-2009 10:05 PM

I'm enjoying your TR. We're headed to SW in May during our Disney trip (writing a PTR and a TR about it - see link for PTR in my siggie). It'll be nice to hear the details of someone's SW trip!

WALTSAGOD 03-19-2009 10:42 PM

Thanks so much, this is the first BG report that I've seen; waiting for more.

RabFlmom 03-20-2009 06:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WALTSAGOD (Post 30912915)
Thanks so much, this is the first BG report that I've seen; waiting for more.


It is a good review and I love the pictures, too. Keep'm coming. BG is my favorite park in Florida and this is convincing me we need to make the drive across the state soon. Time to use our passes. <g>

wen8jr 03-20-2009 09:11 AM

Tuning in...great so far! popcorn::

We drive down I-75 as well...we live in South Central KY. Atlanta is never easy to drive thru, I don't care what time of the day it is. Last trip down, we went through about 8:00PM on a Thursday night and it was awful. We had tried to plan around heavy traffic, but it didn't help. There were also several accidents and road work that held us up on I-75 that trip. Took us 15 hours total to get there instead of the normal 12. We came back up the east coast as we made a stop in St. Augustine and travel back was much easier!

I'll have to check out that bypass you mentioned. Since we've had so much trouble on I-75 we actually thought about going down the east coast through NC instead (which adds an extra hour). We are leaving on a Friday this time...which will prob be even worse. :scared:

BTW - we LOVE Nashville. Made our first visit there last fall and stayed at The Gaylord Opryland Hotel and done all the tourist attractions. Awesome city. TN is a great state...we visit the Smoky Mtns. and to Cades Cove every year for hiking.

Can't wait to hear more about your trip!

NashvilleTrio 03-20-2009 10:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tillikumtrainer (Post 30895153)
nice report so far. yes Bugs eww IF YOU SEE A PALMETTO BUG RUN!!! they look like round waterbugs .. so watch yourstep..

Yes, we will watch our step next time we're in Florida. BTW, I love your Tillikum picture. I've always had a great fascination with killer whales.


Quote:

Originally Posted by jopaly (Post 30895313)
Great report so far, we're hoping to go to BG in late May/early June, so can't wait to here more and see some of your piccies.

Thank You! I hope you get to go. You'll really enjoy it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by czycropper (Post 30899726)
Can't wait to hear more!!

I'm taking my DDs to BG when we go visit my Dad. So I'm looking for all and any strategies :)

Feel free to ask us any questions!

Quote:

Originally Posted by donaldsgal (Post 30912436)
I'm enjoying your TR. We're headed to SW in May during our Disney trip (writing a PTR and a TR about it - see link for PTR in my siggie). It'll be nice to hear the details of someone's SW trip!

I'll be sure to check out your SW PTR. Stay tuned for my SW report. It'll be up in the next few days...

Quote:

Originally Posted by WALTSAGOD (Post 30912915)
Thanks so much, this is the first BG report that I've seen; waiting for more.

Quote:

Originally Posted by RabFlmom (Post 30914903)
It is a good review and I love the pictures, too. Keep'm coming. BG is my favorite park in Florida and this is convincing me we need to make the drive across the state soon. Time to use our passes. <g>

Thanks to you both for your kind replies. I guess we don't see many BG reports on this thread because it's titled SW & Discovery Cove, but I didn't know where else to put it. And since we did a day at SW I figured I would just lump it all together here.

Quote:

Originally Posted by wen8jr (Post 30917194)
Tuning in...great so far! popcorn::

We drive down I-75 as well...we live in South Central KY. Atlanta is never easy to drive thru, I don't care what time of the day it is. Last trip down, we went through about 8:00PM on a Thursday night and it was awful. We had tried to plan around heavy traffic, but it didn't help. There were also several accidents and road work that held us up on I-75 that trip. Took us 15 hours total to get there instead of the normal 12. We came back up the east coast as we made a stop in St. Augustine and travel back was much easier!

I'll have to check out that bypass you mentioned. Since we've had so much trouble on I-75 we actually thought about going down the east coast through NC instead (which adds an extra hour). We are leaving on a Friday this time...which will prob be even worse. :scared:

BTW - we LOVE Nashville. Made our first visit there last fall and stayed at The Gaylord Opryland Hotel and done all the tourist attractions. Awesome city. TN is a great state...we visit the Smoky Mtns. and to Cades Cove every year for hiking.

Can't wait to hear more about your trip!

Glad to hear you guys enjoyed your Nashville visit. I love living here. My husband was born here and I moved here to go to college and ending up staying!

Where in KY are you from? I'm from Campbellsville - it's a small town in central KY.

Thanks again to everyone for reading - stay tuned for more!!!

NashvilleTrio 03-20-2009 10:05 AM

Greg here...

Thanks, Melissa is doing a great job so far. We love living in Nashville, but I would LOVE to move to Tampa or Orlando. I think we'll eventually make the move, but it is probably not going to happen soon. Although the job situation isn't a factor since I could work from home. So, what a minute, what's stopping us?

Oh yeah, our parents would kill us.

turning40withMickey 03-21-2009 02:48 PM

THanks for sending me to your trip report
( I asked about BG on the SW thread, we many need a BG thread!)

Great pics!
We are hoping to do BG this summer
along with Disney...

You probably didn't visit the waterpark in March, 'eh?

turning40withMickey 03-21-2009 02:52 PM

I love that you napped at the rest stop on the way!
I have to get DH on board with things like that!

NashvilleTrio 03-23-2009 10:13 AM

Hey everyone - just wanted to quickly let you know that I haven't forgotten about finishing our report. I'm planning to get another installment up sometime later today! Sorry for the delay...

-Melissa


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